Art Roundup: NFTs, pools and rocks abound

A preview of August exhibitions around the country:

 ODED HIRSCH’S ‘50 Blue frame’ (photo credit: ODED HIRSCH)
ODED HIRSCH’S ‘50 Blue frame’
(photo credit: ODED HIRSCH)

TEL AVIV

Thursday, August 4 – Take a guided English language tour at 11 a.m. at Tel Aviv Museum of Art’s NFT One of a Kinds exhibition (NIS 50 per ticket). Lampooned by several art critics, this is the first attempt by a leading museum in Israel to confront the dilemmas cryptocurrency-fueled digital breakthroughs currently impose on the art world.

Art critic Avi Pitchon pointed to how, in his opinion, the language used to describe the exhibition is passive and fatalistic. Faced with claims NFT is the new direction art is heading, no matter what artists might feel about it, Pitchon asked why so many lend credit to the idea what people really desire is no longer important.

Curator Elad Yaron lauded the work that went into the exhibition, yet wondered why the museum seems to promote NFT, something celebrities are already quite busy doing. Yaron claimed NFT has the game-changing potential of offering the artists regular income and pointed to how AIs, not NFTs, shape much of the culture people already choose to watch or pay for.

Irit Sternberg argued that, in a gig-economy where anyone can order a lovely illustration from Dall-E, NFTs seem like a lifeline to a creative class that seems to be on the verge of being replaced by machines. Sternberg argues that digital art on NFT is only barely interesting, until one begins to think how one might cash in on it. This, she claims, differs NFT art from other art forms.

Patrons can enjoy Ran Slavin’s Short Term Relationship (owned by Mona Art Club), DEDE’s Big Heart, Homage to Haring (same), or Ron Guetta’s The Work of Art in the Age of Generative Reproduction (creator owned).

The last work is a homage to Walter Benjamin. Visitors can also engage with TAMA, a virtual reality character specially created for this exhibition. All these works and others can be viewed online at https://arium.xyz/spaces/tama-nft-one-of-a-kinds (until December 3, 2022). The critics referred to were featured in Haaretz, Ynet, and Saf Magazine respectively.

Thursday, August 11 – Meet Curator Bar Yeroshalmi, who will host a musical concert and (a Hebrew) gallery discussion around Oneg Rabot at 7 p.m. Musician and vocal artist Michal Oppenheim will offer a powerful exploration of female prayer and new sacred musical works created to honor Eve, Miriam, Ruth and Hamutal.

The exhibition space is a study of the structural principles employed in traditional Jewish houses of worship, reshaped to be welcoming to all. Noam Ahdut, Amit Fishbein and other powerful women will present their work and engage the audience in dialog. Admission is free. Shechter Gallery, 42 Aharon Chelouche Street.

Listen to a musical adaptation of the poem ‘Fire was there, and animals that glowed’ by Rachel Halfi, as composed by Amit Fishbein at shorturl.at/EQYZ9 (until September 16, 2022).

RAMLA

Each Thursday in August, enjoy Reflection by Dor Zlekha Levy, shown at the Pool of the Arches, 12 Hahagana Street (entrance from HaShomer Street) from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Reflection is also shown each Saturday at the same hours. For more information, call 08-9216-873.

Patrick Kingsley, from the New York Times, lauded the intercultural project, which fuses Jewish and Arab musical heritages with visual screenings and the experience of sailing a dinghy across the pool. He noted its rich diversity, which introduces Fairuz to Rabbi Rafael Antebi. Come early and see Red Wing at the Contemporary Art Center Ramla (CACR). Created by Meydad Eliyahu, the exhibition shines an entirely new light on the Indian-Jewish community and their Israeli journey.

112 Herzl Street Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday from 11 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Note that the CACR is responsible for Reflections, as well, despite there being two different locations of the respective exhibitions.

Do you have the capacity to take on a little more art? Go and see Titian’s Descent from the Cross at the Franciscan Monastery on Bialik Street. Prearrange your visit by calling 08-912-7200.

HAIFA

Thursday, August 4 – Head north and attend the 7 p.m. grand opening of several new exhibitions at the Haifa Museum of Art. The impressive offering includes Inventing the Wheel, a new exhibition by Oded Hirsch, My Playground by Nardeen Srouji, a selection of Israeli art from the museum collection titled Northern Wind. As well, there is an offering of German prints titled Storm and Stress, a nod to German romantic theory, which inspired (among others) Wagner and Goethe.

The Gottersman Etching Center will feature prints under the headline Hard and Soft. Admission is free for the entire opening night, at 26 Shabbetai Levi Street, Haifa. Those who are able to do so might arrive early and visit Haifa University to relish a rare artistic victory (see ART NEWS at the bottom of this roundup to learn more).

ARAD

Netally Schlosser continues her fascinating in-depth study of the deep past with Rocks and Symmetry in the Land of Sands at the Arad Contemporary Art Center (ACAC). Having explored the myth of the Great Mother with curator Smadar Keren, last year at the Beit Uri and Rami Nehoshtan Museum, Schlosser is taking a bold new turn with curator Leah Abir, for this extraordinary exhibition. The artist collected rocks from various sites in the country and digitally manipulated them until into a perfectly symmetrical object.

In this new exhibition, which leaps from prehistory to our information saturated age by its mere existence, new shapes and colors are born. The exhibition is open until the end of September. The ACAC is at 28 Ben Yair Street. Opening hours are Wednesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Rinat Burg 'Pretty Disasters'  (credit: Dor Kadmi)Rinat Burg 'Pretty Disasters' (credit: Dor Kadmi)

ART NEWS

Rinat Burg, Avia Haimi and Aviv La Oz Kalif won the First Studio scholarship offered by Benyamini Contemporary Ceramics Center. The scholarship provides the winners, all recent graduates of ceramics departments across the country, with an adequate workspace with which to continue their artistic work.

Congratulations to Belu-Simion Fainaru for his success in re-installing his public sculpture Sham at Haifa University, after it was taken apart last November when the Open Museum Tefen closed and the land it was on sold to developers. The empty park once contained hundreds of artworks and, at the time, Fainarue expressed his pain at this great loss. Sham now stands near the Arts Center at the university on Tayelet HaNofit.

Art Roundup intends to offer readers a monthly glance at some of the finest art exhibitions currently being shown across the country. Artists, curators and collectors are welcomed to send pitches to [email protected] with Art Roundup in email subject. While all suggestions are welcomed, sending information does not ensure the exhibition or collection will be featured.